Good books about American Civil War
Michał M.
Poland
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Inspired by great idea by Ania Ziolkowska I would like to start a GL about ACW books.

I know that there are many conversant ACW buffs on BGG and I believe some of them will we interested in helping those, who need some guidance on the vast sea of American Civil War literature.

Feel free to participate!
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1. Board Game: Forged in Fire: The 1862 Peninsula Campaign [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:4520]
Michał M.
Poland
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Stephen W. Sears, To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign.

I really like this book - the narrative is clear, the Author did not stuck in details about individuals, but instead he gave us good picutre of whole campaign.
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2. Board Game: Here Come the Rebels [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1559]
Michał M.
Poland
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Ezra A. Carman, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862.

Although by no means modern book, this piece is extremely interesting study on subject of 1862 campaign.
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3. Board Game: River of Death: Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863 [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:4544]
Jay Volk
United States
Richfield
Ohio
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The Rock of Chickamauga - The Life Of George H Thomas by Freeman Cleaves

Tells the life story of General George Thomas. Culminates in the battle of Chickamauga, which pretty much broke the back of the Confederacy combined with Gettysburg and Vicksburg.
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4. Board Game: Battle Cry of Freedom [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:5549]
Dave VanderArk
United States
Coopersville
Michigan
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I can highly recommend Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. It's an excellently researched book. It traces the roots of the war earlier into the 19th century than I have found in any other book. It's almost like McPherson was an eyewitness to some of the key political debates, plus it covers key military actions.
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5. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:578]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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The Civil War by Shelby Foote. Excellent three-volume series on the entire war.
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6. Board Game: Terrible Swift Sword [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:2028]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Bruce Catton is a great author. His three volume set on the entire civil war is great reading: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat. His three volume series of the Army of the Potomac: Mr. Lincoln's Army, Glory Road, and A Stillness at Appotomattax, is even better.
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7. Board Game: Grant Takes Command [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:1641]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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And Catton's two volume biography of Grant is also recommended: Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command.
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8. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:493]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Don't overlook Grant's Memoirs. It's an excellent first-hand look at the Civil War from the most important general who fought in it.
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9. Board Game: A Fearful Slaughter: The Battle of Shiloh [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:3216]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Grant and Sherman, the Friendship that Won the Civil War, by Charles Flood, is a very readable look into the two most important generals of the Union.
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10. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:4426]
Ken Feldman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Team of Rivals, by Doris Goodwin, is an excellent examination of Lincoln and his cabinet during the war.
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11. Board Game: The Battle of Bentonville [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Chris Buhl
United States
Pittsfield
Massachusetts
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Jay Winik, April 1865: The Month That Saved America. This is a fascinating book about the forces at play, beginning with America's very founding, and how they came to rest on the possible outcomes of the Civil War. What was happening during the month in question, what did happen, and what might have happened, are all more intricately woven into our history than I ever suspected. Well written, easily readable, well researched. Tied for my favorite history book with 1066: The Year of the Conquest.
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12. Board Game: Shiloh: April 1862 [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:4573]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Shiloh by Larry J. Daniel is a great account of the battle. He discusses the political situation as well as the movements before the battle. He writes well and the work is detailed but rarely bogged down, as it is in Wiley Sword's account. He is good at discussing shortcomings and mistakes made although he might be too harsh on some of the commanders. That is just Daniel's style though. I'm sure he is something of a curmudgeon in real life.
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13. Board Game: C.S.A. America's Civil War 1861-1865 [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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The South vs. The South by William Freehling is a new way to look at the war. He discusses how border state Unionism and black regiments made the Confederacy's job that much more difficult. He has a strange but fun writing style.
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14. Board Game: Confederate Rails [Average Rating:5.72 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Their Tattered Flags by Frank Vandiver. Superbly written and sympathetic account of the Confederacy. He discusses politics, economics, diplomacy, and best of all the war industry. Offers the best defense of Jefferson Davis as president. Beware some minor errors though.
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15. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:578]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I'm writing a dissertation on the battle of Petersburg and I could go on and on with geek items. I'll leave a list for you.


Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant: Good account of James Longstreet and Civil War memory.

Embattled Courage and For Cause and Comrades: Two conflicting interpretations of the soldier's experience.

The Inner Civil War: Discusses the transformation of Northern intellectual world by the horrors and pressures of the war.

No Better Place to Die: Great account of the Battle of Stones River, an engagement often ignored because Grant, Sherman, Lee, and Jackson were fighting elsewhere.

Race and Reunion: Excellent account of the formation of Civil War memory. best read with Gallagher's The Union War to balance out Blight's obsession with racial issues. Another to check out is Ghosts of the Confederacy.

Company Aytch: Great account from a veteran Confederate soldier. It is by turns funny, heartbreaking, and even boring. This makes it diverse and you get the feeling that is the soldier's life. Boredom punctured with terror and comedy. A good elite Southern account is Destruction and Reconstruction by Richard Taylor. Superbly written although be wary of Taylor's discussion of "loyal" blacks and the virtues of Southern conservatism.
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